16 may. 2011

Education Works

Have you seen stats for unemployment rates correlating with educational level? It runs about 14% unemployment for those without High School Diploma, 9.7% for High School, 4.5% for college degree, and even better for advanced or professional degrees. Pretty much, some college is better than no college, graduating from college is even better, and so on. The differences are pretty stark. A PhD overall (though not in Humanities) yields about a 2.5 unemployment rate. And all this is in a bad economy. Incomes for people who are employed also improve, on average, with educational attainment. It is people in my profession, then, who hold the key to employment and success generally. As a graduate professor, I train people who in turn will train others. The social scorn for people in my profession is something difficult to understand. People want their children to get into good colleges and universities, yet somehow the college professor can be a figure of deep distrust.

2 comentarios:

Joseph Hutchison dijo...

The distrust, I think, comes from the protected nature of the tenured professor. Barring criminal conduct, a tenured professor can say or do anything without fear of financial repercussions. This is a protection denied to almost every other worker, most of whom live in fear of dismissal for anything from being diagnosed with a chronic illness to expressing the wrong political opinion. There is a similar distrust of union employees, whose superior protections cause them to be viewed as lazy, incompetent, even corrupt. Everyone, of course, would love to have similar protections; they feel it's unfair because they don't have them. And they've been so successfully brainwashed by what my friend from Kentucky still calls The Man that they don't realize they could have those protections, if only they'd organize and fight for them. But the American appetite for history has never been strong, so I expect we'll continue to see the weird resentment you discuss here.

Clarissa dijo...

There used to be protection for tenured people but it doesn't exist any more. People with tenure are getting fired all over the country. Last year, we were told by the administration that if we don't comply on a certain matter, our entire department would be disbanded. Including, of course, our five tenured professors. Tenure or no tenure, people are terrified of saying anything that might challenge the administrators' opinions. And it's like that everywhere nowadays.